Over the last 40 years, the death rate for cervical cancer has gone down by more than 50%. The main reason for this decrease is that more women are going to their OB/GYNs to get Pap smears. Ededet Udo, MD, FACOG, of Harlem Esthetic Rejuvenation Center in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City, performs Pap smears and provides expert gynecologic care, including surgical and nonsurgical procedures sometimes needed after an abnormal Pap smear. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Udo, call or book an appointment online.
A Pap smear, or a Pap test, is a method of screening to check for abnormal cells on your cervix that might lead to cervical cancer.
During the procedure, a device called a speculum is inserted into your vagina. The device keeps your vaginal walls open and gives the doctor access to your cervix.
Then, the doctor uses a small tool to take a sample of cells from your cervix, which are sent to a lab for microscopic examination.
During the Pap test, most women feel mild discomfort and sometimes cramping, but no lasting pain. It is recommended that all women over the age of 20 receive a yearly Pap smear.
It’s pretty common to have abnormal or unclear results from a Pap test. It doesn’t mean that you have cervical cancer; it means that there are abnormal cell changes on your cervix.
If your Pap results come back abnormal, the team usually recommends a colposcopy, which is a minor procedure that allows him to look more closely at your cervix in order to see if the cells are precancerous.
During a colposcopy, the provider uses a speculum to spread the walls of your vagina and then places a special magnifying instrument called a “colposcope” a few inches away from your vulva. He swabs your cervix and vagina with cotton to clear away mucus, and he applies a solution that helps highlight any areas with suspicious cells. The process may cause a burning or tingling sensation.
If your physician finds a suspicious area, or areas, he takes a biopsy, which can cause mild discomfort.
LEEP is a procedure that the practice may perform if abnormal cells are found from your Pap test, colposcopy, or biopsy. During this procedure, the physician uses a small electrical wire to remove the abnormal cells from your cervix.
Because numbing medication is used, many patients don’t feel anything at all during the procedure.
The team has years of experience with Pap tests, colposcopies, and LEEP procedures, and can walk you through the results and what they mean. To book an appointment with Harlem Esthetic Rejuvenation Center, call the office or request an appointment online.